Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including aztreonam for injection should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When aztreonam for injection is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by aztreonam for injection or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as 2 or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
Carcinogenicity studies with aztreonam have not been conducted using an intravenous route of administration. A 104-week rat inhalation toxicology study to assess the carcinogenic potential of aztreonam demonstrated no drug-related increase in the incidence of tumors. Rats were exposed to aerosolized aztreonam for up to 4 hours per day. Peak plasma levels of aztreonam averaging approximately 6.8 mcg/mL were measured in rats at the highest dose level.
Genetic toxicology studies performed with aztreonam in vitro (Ames test, mouse lymphoma forward mutation assay, gene conversion assay, chromosome aberration assay in human lymphocytes) and in vivo (mouse bone marrow cytogenetic assay) did not reveal evidence of mutagenic or clastogenic potential.
A two-generation reproduction study in rats at daily doses of 150, 600, or 2,400 mg/kg given prior to and during gestation and lactation, revealed no evidence of impaired fertility. Based on body surface area, the high dose is 2.9-fold greater than the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) for adults of 8 g per day. There was a slightly reduced survival rate during the lactation period in the offspring of rats that received the highest dose, but not in offspring of rats that received lower doses of aztreonam.
Pregnancy Category B
In pregnant women, aztreonam crosses the placenta and enters the fetal circulation.
Developmental toxicity studies in pregnant rats and rabbits with daily doses of aztreonam up to 1,800 and 1,200 mg/kg, respectively, revealed no evidence of embryotoxicity or fetotoxicity or teratogenicity. These doses, based on body surface area, are 2.2- and 2.9-fold greater than the MRHD for adults of 8 g per day. A peri/postnatal study in rats revealed no drug-induced changes in any maternal, fetal, or neonatal parameters. The highest dose used in this study, 1,800 mg/kg/day, is 2.2 times the MRHD based on body surface area.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of aztreonam on human pregnancy outcomes. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, aztreonam should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Aztreonam is excreted in human milk in concentrations that are less than 1% of concentrations determined in simultaneously obtained maternal serum; consideration should be given to temporary discontinuation of nursing and use of formula feedings.
The safety and effectiveness of intravenous aztreonam for injection have been established in the age groups 9 months to 16 years. Use of aztreonam for injection in these age groups is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies of aztreonam for injection in adults with additional efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetic data from non-comparative clinical studies in pediatric patients. Sufficient data are not available for pediatric patients under 9 months of age or for the following treatment indications/pathogens: septicemia and skin and skin-structure infections (where the skin infection is believed or known to be due to H. influenzae type b). In pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis, higher doses of aztreonam for injection may be warranted (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, and CLINICAL STUDIES).
Clinical studies of aztreonam for injection did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. 9-12 In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
In elderly patients, the mean serum half-life of aztreonam increased and the renal clearance decreased, consistent with the age-related decrease in creatinine clearance. 1-4 Since aztreonam is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, renal function should be monitored and dosage adjustments made accordingly (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Renal Impairment in Adult Patients and Dosage in the Elderly).
Aztreonam for injection contains no sodium.
Local reactions such as phlebitis/thrombophlebitis following intravenous administration, and discomfort/swelling at the injection site following intramuscular administration occurred at rates of approximately 1.9% and 2.4%, respectively.
Systemic reactions (considered to be related to therapy or of uncertain etiology) occurring at an incidence of 1% to 1.3% include diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, and rash. Reactions occurring at an incidence of less than 1% are listed within each body system in order of decreasing severity:
Hypersensitivity —anaphylaxis, angioedema, bronchospasm
Hematologic —pancytopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, eosinophilia, leukocytosis, thrombocytosis
Gastrointestinal —abdominal cramps; rare cases of C. difficile -associated diarrhea, including pseudomembranous colitis, or gastrointestinal bleeding have been reported. Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibiotic treatment (see WARNINGS).
Dermatologic —toxic epidermal necrolysis (see WARNINGS), purpura, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, urticaria, petechiae, pruritus, diaphoresis
Cardiovascular —hypotension, transient ECG changes (ventricular bigeminy and PVC), flushing
Respiratory —wheezing, dyspnea, chest pain
Hepatobiliary —hepatitis, jaundice
Nervous System —seizure, confusion, encephalopathy, vertigo, paresthesia, insomnia, dizziness
Musculoskeletal —muscular aches
Special Senses —tinnitus, diplopia, mouth ulcer, altered taste, numb tongue, sneezing,
nasal congestion, halitosis
Other —vaginal candidiasis, vaginitis, breast tenderness
Body as a Whole —weakness, headache, fever, malaise
Of the 612 pediatric patients who were treated with aztreonam for injection in clinical trials, less than 1% required discontinuation of therapy due to adverse events. The following systemic adverse events, regardless of drug relationship, occurred in at least 1% of treated patients in domestic clinical trials: rash (4.3%), diarrhea (1.4%), and fever (1%). These adverse events were comparable to those observed in adult clinical trials.
In 343 pediatric patients receiving intravenous therapy, the following local reactions were noted: pain (12%), erythema (2.9%), induration (0.9%), and phlebitis (2.1%). In the US patient population, pain occurred in 1.5% of patients, while each of the remaining 3 local reactions had an incidence of 0.5%.
The following laboratory adverse events, regardless of drug relationship, occurred in at least 1% of treated patients: increased eosinophils (6.3%), increased platelets (3.6%), neutropenia (3.2%), increased AST (3.8%), increased ALT (6.5%), and increased serum creatinine (5.8%).
In US pediatric clinical trials, neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count less than 1,000/mm 3) occurred in 11.3% of patients (8/71) younger than 2 years receiving 30 mg/kg every 6 hours. AST and ALT elevations to greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal were noted in 15% to 20% of patients aged 2 years or above receiving 50 mg/kg every 6 hours. The increased frequency of these reported laboratory adverse events may be due to either increased severity of illness treated or higher doses of aztreonam for injection administered.
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